Bayern Munich host bottom side Hannover 96 on Saturday afternoon and will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
They will know a win would put pressure on rivals Dortmund, who play later that evening. Bayern had the opportunity to all but seal their seventh straight Bundesliga title last weekend after Dortmund slipped up at home to Schalke.
However, Niko Kovac's side couldn't take advantage as they only managed a share of the points away to second-bottom Nurnberg.
On Saturday, they face a Hannover side who looked dead and buried a week ago, but victory over Mainz last weekend has given a glimmer of hope in their survival battle. With three games to play, they sit six points off the relegation play-off spot, meaning they will need at least two wins from their remaining games.
Despite the blip in their last fixture, Munich pose a completely different threat at the Allianz Arena. With 24 goals in their last six home matches, they look unstoppable and it may take a miracle for the away side to come away with anything on Saturday.
Check out 90min's preview of the game below:
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?
||Saturday 4th May|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||14:30 BST|
|Where Is It Being Played?||Allianz Arena|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Bet365|
James Rodriguez was fit enough to make the bench last time out, although he didn't feature in the 1-1 draw. He is believed to still be struggling with a calf injury and is therefore unlikely to feature against Hannover.
Similarly, Jerome Boateng's knee injury ruled him out of the previous game. Despite edging closer to full fitness, the centre-back is not expected to be back for this fixture.
Elsewhere, Franck Ribery adds to the list of doubts, whilst Manuel Neuer is not expected to return to the lineup before the end of the season. Luckily for Bayern, they have able deputies for all of their injured players, though the quality of their bench will suffer as a result.
Hannover will be without their midfielder and captain Marvin Bakalorz, who misses out through suspension after picking up a yellow card last time out. On the injury front, Die Roten will be waiting on the fitness of Pirmin Schwegler and Nicolai Muller who are both touch and go to be fit in time to face Bayern.
Hannover have however welcomed back USA international Bobby Wood back into full training and the striker could make his return to the first team to face the table-toppers on Saturday.
|Bayern Munich||Ulreich; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba; Alcantara, Jimenez, Muller, Goretzka, Coman; Lewandowski|
|Hannover 96||Esser; Haraguchi, Anton, Felipe, Ostrzolek; Walace, Maina, Muslija, Muller; Wood, Weydandt|
Head to Head Record
Bayern were comfortable winners when the two sides met earlier this season, as they won 4-0 at the HDI Arena. German football fans are expecting more of the same on Saturday when Munich will be starting the game as clear favourites.
The last time Hannover got the better of Bayern was back in the 2011/12 season when they overcame 10-man Munich by two goals to one. In the entire history of this fixture, Hannover have only come on top on four previous occasions.
However, only one of these came away from home which further illustrates the task Die Roten have ahead of them on Saturday.
Since the turn of the year, Bayern have looked close to unstoppable at times and have certainly made up for their early season woes. Dropping points in only three games in 2019, it is no surprise to see Kovac's men lead the way at the top of the table.
Hannover's story has been the polar opposite. Winning just twice since the turn of the year, the bottom side have only themselves to blame for their league position. That said, they have looked a lot more solid defensively in recent games. No goals conceded in their last two games meant Hannover have kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season.
Here's how the two sides have fared in their last five outings:
|Bayern Munich||Hannover 96|
|Nurnberg 1-1 Bayern (28/04)||Hannover 1-0 Mainz (27/04)|
|Werder 2-3 Bayern (24/04)||Hertha 0-0 Hannover (21/04)|
|Bayern 1-0 Bremen (20/04)||
Hannover 0-1 Monchengladbach (13/04)
|Fortuna 1-4 Bayern (14/04)||Wolfsburg 3-1 Hannover (06/04)|
|Bayern 5-0 Dortmund (06/04)||Hannover 0-1 Schalke (31/03)|
Bayern have been imperious at home this season and that has shown no sign of stopping. On the other hand, a busy fixture schedule look to have caught up with Munich as they laboured to a 1-1 draw at Nurnberg last weekend. Having had one day's less rest than Hannover, they could look the more leggy of the two teams as they match goes on.
Hannover are in desperate territory in their fight for survival in the Bundesliga. Although they may be hopeful of a third successive clean sheet, Thomas Doll's team could need all three points to stand a chance of survival. Therefore, we may see them push for a goal towards the end of this one.
Despite positive performances in their last two outings, Hannover won't be able to stop this Bayern side.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-0 Hannover 96